In any program at a college or university, one of a student’s biggest struggles is finding a job once they are finished. Most people do research before entering a program to see what kind of job prospects they will have once they finish. For Stenberg College’s Cardiology Technologist program, students have a 92% success rate in finding a job in the first six months after completing the program.
I did my own research as well and felt pretty confident about this career choice. Once in the program and spending a few days at my practice education site I found out that the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (QEII) in Halifax hires students as unregistered cardio techs to fill casual positions. Shortly after, a casual job opportunity had arisen so I applied and got an interview.
I have applied for many jobs in my past and have become very comfortable with having job interviews, but when I got the call for this interview I had a lot of nerves. This interview felt different because it was an interview for a career that I want for the rest of my life. As with any interview I went out and bought myself a business casual outfit, researched questions, studied my ECG theory, and practiced mock-interviews with my sister.
Stenberg offered a personal and professional development course in which we built resumes and cover letters as well as having a mock-interview with our instructor, where we received some tips on how to improve. It must have worked, because at the end of the interview I was told that I was hired!
All nerves were gone once the interview was over and the excitement kicked in. The next step was to go through orientation and get all sorts of paperwork prepared for human resources and occupational health.
The amount of paperwork that comes along with a job at a hospital can be tedious, however most of the documents they required I had already obtained for Stenberg. I had a meeting with HR, occupational health, and finally 2 days of hospital orientation. One of our orientations was shared with other health professions which allowed us to get to know one another and to see how all of us play a part in patient care. It reminded me that even though we all have our departments we all work as a team together. At this point I felt ready to start training.
My manager set up a two-week orientation, which covered working in outpatients, working on the floors with pagers for inpatients and working in emergency in the day, night, and weekends. As an unregistered cardio tech I am allowed to perform ECGs and hook up holter monitors, but they reserve stress testing and holter monitor scanning for the registered cardio techs. I am currently at the end of my training and am starting to work independently as of this week. Being trained by registered cardio techs I have learned many techniques that help me be more efficient and effective at my job. I have gained experience working with patients ranging from trauma and ICU to simple clinic or pre-op appointments.
The techs that work at the QEII in Halifax are like a family; everyone is different but we all get along and can connect in some way or another. I am so excited and honored that I have the privilege to work here and hope to someday be a full-time Registered Cardiology Technologist at this location.
One downside… Within all of this excitement of interviews, orientation, and training, I am still a student taking classes with Stenberg. I am finishing up my last two courses: ‘Additional Cardiac Procedures’ and ‘Health Information Systems’ and start my three-month clinical at the start of April. I still enjoy what I am studying and am looking forward to clinical but multitasking the new job and school has been a bit challenging. Thankfully my supervisor is very understanding and asks me if I want a shift before scheduling me for one. Over my three-month practicum I will get experience with things I cannot do as a casual unregistered cardio tech such as stress testing and holter monitor scanning and on the weekends I will be able to gain extra experience in ECGs all while getting paid. I will still be blogging my journey over the next three months so stay tuned for more insight on the cardio tech program!